HP Sells off iManage - Could TeamSite and MediaBin Be Next?

I've been wondering for some time what HP would do with some of the information management solutions that came from Interwoven via Autonomy. HP has been a decent steward of these systems, but doesn't seem to have a credible, long-term strategy.

As background, recall the rancor when HP discovered that Autonomy had essentially swindled them. The Interwoven tools must seem to HP like a collection of semi-respectable furniture left over from an ex-spouse: not terrible to sit in, but unpleasant reminders of an ugly split nonetheless.

Movement with iManage

HP can now move at least one set of furniture: the iManage document and records management platform.

Last week came news that the iManage leadership team, along with funding support from one of its major customers, essentially purchased the toolset back from HP, making it independent again. Recall that iManage was originally acquired by Interwoven, and thence to Autonomy...and then on to HP.

Ironically, ECM is one of the areas where customers might find some synergy with other HP offerings, but iManage -- which focuses on services firms (especially law firms) -- was probably too nichey for a big enterprise player like HP.

Still, it raises the question: what about some of the other business systems that came from Interwoven, specifically the TeamSite/LiveSite WCM offering, and HP's MediaBin DAM?

What about TeamSite and MediaBin?

On the surface, MediaBin and TeamSite might seem like good candidates for spinning off as well. They each have separate development and sales+support teams. But from there, differences emerge.

iManage has loyal customers and a reasonably modern codebase. TeamSite customers are slowly finding the exits amid a platform still architected for the 1990s. (Don't believe me? Check our evaluation chapter -- it's a free download).

MediaBin is a different story. Its technology, while a bit dated and overly bound to the Microsoft stack, still performs reasonably well. The bigger issue is that it has fallen a bit behind in a DAM marketplace that is shifting rapidly.

Both TeamSite and MediaBin also suffered the misfortune of getting "IDOL-ized" under Autonomy, which means they got bound to an over-wrought search engine that has largely failed in the marketplace. It would prove difficult for any future owner to decouple them.

What I Think Will Happen

I don't have any insider scoop on what will happen to TeamSite and MediaBin. But unlike iManage, their future seems too thin for an employee buyout. I suspect that at some point, HP will pull the plug on TeamSite and try to sell MediaBin to someone else, potentially even an integrator. I don't know when this happen -- of course, maybe never, maybe they'll just limp along indefinitely -- but I don't believe either solution resides easily at HP today.

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Gil, Partner, Cancentric Solutions Inc.
iStudio Canada Inc.

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